Republican Proposal

Earlier this year Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) demonstrated two qualities that have been lacking in Washington the last decade.   These qualities, courage and leadership, are rare today inside the beltway, and a taking a stand on (Medicare) is timely because the popular program could be bankrupt in 2029. But is his approach the right one for America? His Path to Prosperity, introduced,…

A legal case to follow closely.

Legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act continue as several states challenging whether the health reform law is constitutional.  Most critics have focused specifically on the individual mandate (the part of the law that requires individuals without insurance to purchase it or risk paying  a penalty). But a more recent case headed to the Supreme Court focuses on the Medicaid…

Follow the Oregon Trail?

Oregon was one of the first states to expand it's Medicaid program to the uninsured. Harvard Economists recently released a report showing positive outcomes from Medicaid Expansion.  The report analyzes data from the Oregon Medicaid Program which recently expanded it’s Medicaid program in 2008 through a lottery system.  Data from the report indicates improvements in…

Who is to blame for rising costs?

This article from last week’s Grand Rapids Press gives us several legitimate reasons for rising health care costs in America.  This of course leads to more distrust of the system and cost shifting.  I found the comment about double CT scans at one hospital to be particularly striking.   All of this contributes to an American…

The impact of ACA Medicare Cuts.

A popular Republican talking point during the debate of the health reform legislation was that the Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare.  Specifically, Part C of the program which is commonly referred to as Medicare Advantage which covers approximately one in every four Medicare Beneficiaries.  The policy brief below from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood…

Taking Health Care, Back to the Future.

If you want a difficult task, try securing a free parking spot at a suburban mall on a Saturday morning.  If you want a bigger challenge, try to balance the ballooning entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid in America. Unsustainable future spending, an aggressively growing national debt and a steadily aging boomer population forecast tough decisions that appear…

If you build it, will they come?

Experts believe Health Insurance Exchanges will be like online shopping malls for purchasing coverage. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in conjunction with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachussetts Foundation put together this helpful resource on health insurance exchanges.  This will serve as background for my upcoming column on the same subject. From RWJ: Under…

Primary Care Problem

Many areas all over the country qualified as Health Provider Shortage Areas (HPSAs), meaning there are is not an adequate clinicians to provide care. As more and more individuals become insured under the Affordable Care Act there will likely be an increased shortage of primary care physicians.  This happened in Massachussetts after they passed their…